Sharing Your Roadmap With Customers

To share or not to share (your roadmap with customers), that is the question. On one hand, you want to keep your customers informed and excited about what you’ve got planned for your product. On the other hand, you don’t want to run the risk of disappointing your customers when things don’t go according to plan. Here are some views on whether to share your backlog and how to go about doing it.

When is it smart to share your roadmap publicly? And when would it be a disaster? Is it possible to overshare information with your customers? Andre Theus suggests that the utility of sharing information with your customers via roadmaps follows a pattern similar to the Laffer Curve for tax rates. “Publishing too much detail in your roadmap carries obvious risks, but not publishing anything can, for some companies, carry risks of its own.” So while roadmaps may not be as inevitable as taxes, there is something to be said for sharing roadmaps in moderation.

(via @atheus)

Five things never to include on your customer-facing product roadmap.  “Want to inject some energy into a dull product team meeting? Ask for opinions about whether or not your company should develop a customer-facing product roadmap.” There are legitimate reasons for sharing and against sharing. Shaun Juncal chose to assume that you’ve decided you want to make your roadmap public and provides some suggestions for your public roadmap including things to put on your customer-facing roadmap, and what you can share on your public roadmap.

(via @shaunjuncal)

We made our product roadmap public — and haven’t regretted it. In 2015, Mathilde Collin’s startup decided to make its product roadmap public, and she feels it was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. The decision came with benefits and challenges, but as Mathilde explains, “the benefits we’ve seen have far outweighed those challenges, and we’re ready to go on the record as strong advocates for open roadmaps. Here’s why.”

(via @collinmathilde)

Why 6Q shares its product roadmap. Since 6Q opened their doors, they’ve had many customer conversations about the future of 6Q, and where they are heading. 6Q recently invited customers to view their product roadmap, and Miles Burke explains why they took this approach, and why you should too.

(via @milesb)

Ditch your product roadmap before it’s too late. Over the last six months, CrowdRiff continuously created value for its customers by releasing several new features or improved capabilities. Amin Bashi explains how CrowdRiff has been able to adapt to changes, evolve its product and stay a step ahead of its customers without sharing its product roadmap with customers, mainly because they don’t have a product roadmap to share.

(via @aminbashi)

Kent McDonald
kentjmcdonald@gmail.com

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has IT and product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent currently practices his craft for a leading agriscience company and provides just in time resources for product owners and business analysts at KBP.media and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.